Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I've Seen His Face

We started the adoption process almost 2 years ago.  Of course there was that crazy 4th pregnancy, but regardless of that, we've been waiting a long time to see our little Ethiopian's face.  July 2nd we got the call.  Our case worker briefly told me a little bit about a baby that she thought we'd be interested in.  He was a lot younger than we expected, but I firmly believe that whatever child we got a call on, was our child.  It's all in God's hands anyway and we were willing to take whomever he wanted in our family.

Up until that call, I had been pretty relaxed about the whole adoption process.  Although I was ready for that call, let's face it, I'm freaking busy.  I have 4 holligans to keep me occupied and my mind on other things besides adoption 24/7.  I knew that we would get our referral at the right time and that everything would fall into place as it should.  If it took longer than we expected, that was okay, more time for me to get ready for him.  That was until I saw his face.

I opened that file and saw his sweet face.  It wasn't love at first sight, I'm not going to lie.  I was completely overwhelmed.  We had been waiting for so long and we finally had a face.  I never cried, I just immediately had the sense of urgency that I hadn't had before.  I needed to do everything I could as quickly as possible to bring my baby home.  I check my emails 100 times a day waiting for any news of a court date.  I check plane tickets daily so that I will already have the best deal ready to book as soon as we get the call.  I have a list of everything I will need to pack so that I don't forget anything in the rush.  I have childcare lined up for the other kids while we are gone, and a freezer full of breast milk for #4.  I know that he is very well taken care of where he is at this time.  He's receiving medical care and has caregivers that love on him.  But it's not me doing those things for my son and I want it to be ME.  ASAP.

Please pray that we miraculously get a court date before everything in Ethiopia closes for rainy season August 6th.  It's a very long shot at this point, but I'm still hopeful.  Also pray that our little guy continues to get healthier by the day and that God would prepare his heart for us and our hearts for him.  Here is the whole gang seeing his precious face for the first time...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

10 Years

The Hubby and I recently celebrated 10 years of marriage.  Some days I feel like we've been married for 25 years and some days feel like I walked down that chapel aisle yesterday.  I remember meeting the Hubby and within a few dates not being able to imagine my life without him.  I just wanted to be married to him, to have a life with him.  He was everything and more that I had ever wanted in a husband and I could not run down that aisle fast enough to get to him and seal the deal.  There is nothing more magical than those first few dates with the person you're suppose to marry.  It's like you can't quit smiling and you have butterflys in your stomach and are just plain giddy.  You want to spend every second you can with that person, and when you're not together, you are talking on the phone for hours into the night. You are inseparable and have the world at your fingertips.

After time, that newness wears off.  You are learning to live together and make major life decisions together.  Little things that you use to think were endearing about the other person are now just irritating.  You realize that they have morning breath and that they are messy and snore.  You bicker about things that don't matter and live on hamburger helper, because that's all you can afford.  You realize that living on love isn't going to get you very far.

Fast forward a little ways and you start bringing babies into the mix.  It is then that you fall in love all over again.  You have just made a perfect human being together.  That little human takes so much work, but brings so much joy to the home.  You immediately start talking about more kids, you move to the suburbs and hang out with other people that have kids.  The days get longer and the years get shorter.  There's complete chaos.  We created that chaos.  One day you wake up with 4.5 kids and have been married 10 years.  How the hell did that just happen?

This day and age that we live in doesn't value marriage.  It doesn't value family.  I'm not surprised by divorce anymore, I'm numb to it.  I'm constantly asking people that have been married forever, what their secret is?  I get lots of different answers and that's because there isn't one secret to a lasting marriage.  I firmly believe that God has to be the center of a marriage to make it work.  I also believe that you have to spend alone time with one another, laugh together, communicate, trust, forgive and encourage one another.  There are going to be good years and there will be crappy years, but you have to move forward together.

I can honestly say that I love the Hubby 1,000 times more today than I did 10 years ago.  We have built this life together and I wouldn't want to live in it with anyone else.  Our goal in our marriage, over anything else, is to set a godly example of what marriage should look like to our kids.  I would never want our girls to settle for anyone less than what their daddy was to their mommy, and I want to be the wife and mother that my boys will look for in their wives (many, many, many) years from now.  I want our kids to see that our marriage isn't perfect, but that it's solid.  I want them to see that though we may bicker, we always make up.  I want them to see that even when times are hard, we stick together and encourage one another.  I want them to know that even though they will see broken homes all around them, that we won't be one of them. 

I cannot wait to see where God leads us over then next 10 years!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Beckham Turns 3!!

Number 3 turned 3 a few weeks ago.  Words cannot even express how obsessed I am with that little boy.  I can go from wanting to kill him to wanting to kiss his face in a matter of seconds.  When the girls turned 3, they got more mouthy.  When Becks turned 3, he got more compliant.  I don't know why, and I probably just jinxed it, but he is so much fun right now.  I remember before I had a boy and people would make jokes about their sons being "all boy".  Not gonna lie.  It ticked me off.  I was like, don't use him being a boy as an excuse for his bad behavior.  Well, now I totally get it.  Boys are just wild.  I'm convinced that testosterone is a brain defect.  Why do I have to discipline for the same things over and over and over again?  Why doesn't he get it?  Oh yeah, because boys are from Mars.  Or Pluto?  I can't remember. 

Anyway, although he has a very short term memory, he is the sweetest little cuddle bug on the planet.  He can go from throwing balls and wanting to wrestle to curling up in your lap and falling asleep on your shoulder before you can blink.  He says things like "that's ridiculous" and "don't even talk to me about it" and "that's biscusting" and "quit being rude to me" about 100 times a day.  He also says things like "you're my princess, mommy" and "I love your hair" and "you're my best buddy" about 100 times a day.  I could eat him up.

This past week he finally decided that he was ready to potty train.  Let's not get crazy, he's still crapped his underwear daily, but other than that it's been a breeze.  He still loves his paci and bunkie, but we are being a lot more firm with those only being used at bedtime...unless he's driving me crazy and then I cave.  I've said it before and I will say it again,  if he takes his bunkie/paci to kindergarten, I don't really care.  Someone will make fun of him and he will give it up.  Whatever.  I don't have time to stress about little things like his security items.  Becks still takes a long nap every afternoon and still sleeps in random places.  Sometimes he sleeps on the couch, sometimes he sleeps with us, sometimes he sleeps with one of the girls.  Wherever he sleeps, he sleeps hard and for that I am thankful. 

Here's my Prince Charming...

Sophia Turns 8!!

So I'm a little behind on posting birthday and anniversary celebrations.  Let's start with Sophia's 8th birthday.  I cannot even wrap my head around it.  Ugh...2 years from double digits.  Sophia had kind of a rough year.  She isn't real big on change.  So we had another baby, moved and she started a new school in the middle of the year.  I know.  Parents of the year right here.  We are on the lookout for therapists.  Even though we totally uprooted her and threw her to the wolves, she has really done better than expected.  Her new school is a lot of fun.  We love to walk and pick her up in the afternoons and go to one of the local parks to play after school.  She lives for drum lessons on Monday afternoons and seriously has some talent.  After trying dance and soccer and art, we finally found her niche and she is in her element.  If you ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, she waivers between missionary in Africa and playing drums in a band!  Either way, she will do great things.

Sophia reminds me so much of myself at her age.  I can relate to being the oldest child and thinking that I always knew everything and the need to be in control of everything.  We are working constantly on putting her type A personality to good use instead of bad.  I've always said that she is our old soul.  She is so wise beyond her years, but is still 8 and immature.  She is very sensitive, but doesn't like to show it.  Sophia has lots of OCD tendencies.  She's a hoarder.  She has to take a shower if she even walks outside.  She has to brush her hair 100 times a day, but could care less about dental hygiene.  She has to hold the remote when watching TV and would NEVER wear a shirt that didn't fit perfectly.  She wears athletic shorts and vans to school everyday and just wants to be comfortable to play.  Choose your battles, right?  Thank the Lord for Zoloft because this child could easily make me snap at any moment.

All that being said, I have such a soft spot in my heart for her.  She is the daughter that I always prayed for and is going to do amazing things in life.  She loves the Lord and reads her bible daily.  She still talks to me about everything going on at school and with her friends.  She is crazy smart and thrives in school.  She is a leader and I pray daily that she always stands strong in her beliefs.  Here's our beautiful girl...

Monday, July 15, 2013

4 Feels Like 27

I always wanted a big family.  I love the idea of growing old and having a house full of children and grandchildren coming home for the holidays.  I guess I forgot to think through the fact that you can't get grown children out of the womb.  You have to raise them first.  Well crap.  Now I'm stuck in the middle of complete chaos and have like 20 more years to go.  Jesus, come quickly.  I'm kidding.  Sort of.  Here's the deal, 4 kids is hell.  Saying 4 doesn't sound like a lot, living with 4 is like living with 27.  Straight up.

All that being said, I pretty much hate summer.  Don't get me wrong, I love my big family.  However, I love them more when there isn't quite so much togetherness.  The first week of summer was bliss.  Everyone was excited, we had VBS every morning and nobody was on anybody's nerves...yet.  The second week of summer was pretty good.  We went to the water park and it was still cool enough for the kids to play outside most of the day.  The third week there was a lot of excitement about the next weeks beach vacation, so things were still going relatively well.  Then we went on a little vacay, where we were all crammed in close quarters for a week and it was all downhill after that.  This past week was a nightmare.  Lots of fighting, lots of talking back, lots of "I'm bored", lots of spankings and vinegar.  Throw on top of all that, potty training a stubborn 3 year old because I refuse to have 3 kids in diapers.  And, anxiously awaiting a call that we can travel before rainy season to go to court is about all I can handle.

I like to think that I usually have everything together, but sometimes I don't.  This summer is one of those times and I'm just going to be okay with that.  I'm also okay with the fact that I don't like my kids 24/7.  Sometimes they are just a big pain in my ass.  Sometimes I wonder why we have so many dang kids?  Sometimes I sit around and think about all the things we could do if we didn't have any kids. World traveler?  Yes, please.

Then there are those random times throughout our chaotic days where Sophia wants to sit with me and talk about all the things she wants to do in life.  And times when Lola comes out of my closet decked out in my clothes and wants to have an impromptu fashion show.  And times when Beckham comes up and hugs my leg and tells me that I'm his princess.  And times when Hendrix is nursing and looks up at me with those big eyes and they pierce through to my heart.  It's in these times that I know my life is so much richer with all these hooligans in it.  There's more laughter, there's more fun, there's more love.  No matter how much they may drive me crazy, I would not trade these long days for anything under the sun.